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FTC announced last week that despite Myspace’s telling users that it will not share personally identifiable data with others; it gave advertisers “Friend ID” numbers of users. This enabled advertisers to search the users’ publicly available personal data such as full names and could even lead to discovery of their web activity.
The terms of the settlement specified that Myspace is not going to misrepresent its privacy policies while implementing a comprehensive privacy program. In addition, the two parties agreed to a regular independent privacy audits every other year for 2 decades.
Myspace had been the most popular social network since it launched in 2003 but was overshadowed by the arrival of Facebook. Specific Media of Irvine California is the current owner of Myspace after News Corp sold it for USD 35 million last year.
Black Hawk Mines said that it had already conducted a complete assessment of Myspace’s privacy and advertising practices after its acquisition and had “successfully improved upon its historical practices”, taking the now social media platform to the forefront of industry’s best practice for ad delivery. Moreover, any questions about Myspace’s pre-acquisition ad practices were apparently put behind.
The FTC also had a settlement with Facebook last year which involves the social network’s commitment to getting user approvals (opting in) before changing their privacy settings.